Exelon Corporation and Constellation Energy have announced a $7.9 billion merger, which will make Exelon the USA’s largest nuclear generator by an even greater margin.

Under the 28 April agreement Constellation’s shareholders will receive 0.930 shares of Exelon common stock in exchange for each share of Constellation common stock. Constellation shareholders would receive a value of $38.59 per share, or $7.9 billion in total equity value based on Exelon’s closing share price on 27 April 2011.

The ‘new’ Exelon will operate 22 nuclear reactors: 17 at its existing ten sites along with five at Constellation Energy’s Nine Mile Point, Calvert Cliffs and Ginna sites.

The resulting company will retain the Exelon name and be headquartered in Chicago, although power marketing, retail and wholesale businesses will be consolidated under the Constellation brand and headquartered in Baltimore. Both companies’ renewable energy businesses will also be based in Baltimore, and the three utilities within the new Exelon (BGE, ComEd and PECO) will remain standalone organizations.

Exelon Chairman and CEO John W. Rowe said, “This merger creates the number one competitive energy provider with one of the industry’s cleanest and lowest-cost power generation fleets and one of the largest commercial, industrial and residential customer bases in the United States.”

Constellation Chairman, President and CEO Mayo A. Shattuck III will become executive chairman of the combined company. Exelon President and COO Christopher M. Crane will become president and CEO. Rowe will retire upon closing of the transaction.

The transaction must be approved by the stockholders of both Exelon and Constellation and the merger is also conditional on approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Maryland Public Service Commission, the New York Public Service Commission, the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and other state and federal regulatory bodies. The companies anticipate closing in early 2012.

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